“Hazing” is defined as any intentional or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are students at an educational institution. (Student Handbook).
Hazing is not limited to activities involving alcohol or strenuous physical labor; it is any intentional or reckless act. Look at this way, if you cannot find it in the student organizational handbook for “must do” or “requirements”, then it could be hazing.
Hazing does not exist to bond you to your organization. Most individuals don’t enjoy being made to feel stupid, uncomfortable, or ridiculed. If you did not like the activities you were made to do, or the humiliation you endured, then why do it to someone else. It was not fun for you, then it not going to be fun to others. Many times we try to justify our action with – no one got hurt, or it just fun.
What about rituals and rites of passage that each organization has ingrained as part of the organizational tapestry? Rituals and rites of passage are typically upheld by members of the group…..why? If it is something silly or humiliating and it makes you uncomfortable and the intent is to make you feel worthless; you should ask ‘Why are we doing this?’ because usually if one stands up against the action, you will find others will stand with you.
Hazing is not only dangerous…it’s illegal. Don’t get caught in a situation that could be harmful to both you and others!